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Explore the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archives

The aim of the CWGC archive is to collect, manage and preserve materials which document the history of the organisation, the individuals we commemorate, the cemeteries and memorials we maintain, and to make such records accessible to the public.

The archive contains over 10,000 items from the Commission’s past including personal correspondence letters, maintenance and tour reports, staff records, photographs and press cuttings.

The Commission’s archive collection was made digital for the first time in 2017.


We welcome visitors to the archive, and encourage and support the use of our archive collection. The archive is based at the CWGC Head Office in Maidenhead, Berkshire, and is open to researchers and the general public by appointment.

Our archive is open 4 days a week (Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am to 4.30 pm).

You can request an appointment by contacting us via: Please note that your booking is not confirmed until you have received an email from a member of the CWGC archive team.

Whilst we will endeavour to stick to any bookings, there may be times when we have to cancel booked visits at short notice in order to comply with regulations. We will do our utmost to inform you in advance should this be the case, but it is also strongly advised that you contact the archive team on the day of your visit to confirm that the archive is open.

As we are not yet operating at full capacity, we will be limiting file orders to no more than 10 items from the archive collection per person per visit, and these items will need to be ordered in advance.

Please note that while we are able to answer some enquiries relating to the archives ourselves, we are unable to undertake extensive research on your behalf.

We look forward to welcoming you back in 2022.

Start your research through our dedicated online archive portal
Start your research through our dedicated online archive portal

The CWGC archive tracks the history of the Commission from its founding in 1917 to the present day.

Explore the CWGC Archive


Get started by entering your keywords into the search bar or try one of our popular search terms. If you’re looking for something more specific, use the Advanced Archive Search tool to make a more detailed search.

Or get started with our archive guides below.

Researching Cemeteries and Memorials

Researching Cemeteries and Memorials

This bitesize guide will show you how to get started with our online catalogue and give you a few tips on how to begin your research into one of our sites. You'll find out how to locate and access records relating to the site covering aspects including design, construction, unveiling, and maintenance.

View the guide as a PDF
Researching CWGC staff members

Researching CWGC staff members

This guide will show you how to research former CWGC members of staff. You'll get tips on how to use the CWGC Archive catalogue and how to use a member of staff's staff card to find out more about their role.

View this guide as PDF
Read our Efiles - digitised versions of the Enquires we received following the end of the First World War
Read our Efiles - digitised versions of the Enquires we received following the end of the First World War

They are a window into how people felt at the time and the efforts of the Commission to help them.

Explore our eFiles